The unexpected announcement that Avid will be releasing a new HD interface - the Pro Tools MTRX based on the DAD 32 interfaces has raised a number of questions about what will happen to the existing DAD product range and to users that already own DAD DigiLink equipped interfaces on the AX32 platform, including the DX32, Penta 720 and Penta 721 because of the announcement that DAD would phase out DigiLink equipped interfaces. We can now answer some of those questions...
Background On The Cooperation Between Avid And DAD/NTP
We now understand that DAD have been working closely with Avid over the last 2 years firstly integrating the AX32 into S6 applications. As we explored in previous stories the AX32 has a range of features not found all together in other interfaces such as audio routing, advanced monitor control, analogue, MADI, AES, Dante SDI and DigiLink connectivity. More recently DAD has integrated the AX32 into S3/Pro Tools Dock solutions and so DAD, entering into an OEM agreement with Avid, to make the AX32 available as an Avid branded product under the name Pro Tools | MTRX comes across as the next natural step in their cooperation with Avid.
What Will Happen To The DAD/NTP Product Range?
As part of the OEM agreement, between DAD/NTP and Avid, to produce the Pro Tools MTRX, DAD have agreed to phase out the DigiLink port on the AX32 platform, including the DX32, Penta 720 and Penta 721, which will result DigiLink not being available on these products by the end of 2016. In recognition of DigiLink being an Avid protocol, the OEM produced Pro Tools MTRX will be the only 'DAD/NTP manufactured' unit to continue having the DigiLink interface. Effectively, the AX32 will continue to be available with Avid DigiLink connectivity through Avid under the name Pro Tools MTRX.
Will This Affect Existing DAD/NTP Units?
We are very pleased to reveal that this change will have no impact on current DAD/NTP products. We understand that the NTP/DAD 3rd party 'reverse engineered' implementation of the DigiLink interface will continue to be supported on all DAD/NTP products with a DigiLink interface, in both the current and future software releases and current AX32s with DigiLink ports will continue to be supported and repaired, both in and out of warranty.
The DAD/NTP AX32/DX32/Penta 720/721 and all option cards will continue to be manufactured by NTP/DAD, with the only difference being the removal of the DigiLink connector by the end of 2016. Option cards for these units will continue to be available so you will still be able to add cards to your existing installation.
Will the DAD/NTP Units Share Option Cards With The Avid Pro Tools MTRX?
The Pro Tools MTRX will offer the same option cards as the AX32, however they will be identified DAD/NTP and Avid products respectively. So we understand that this means it will not be possible to interchange cards between the DAD/NTP products and Pro Tools MTRX. Apparently one of the reasons for this is to avoid warranty conflicts as Avid will be responsible for handling warranty repairs for Pro Tools MTRX.